A few years ago, two men sat together on one of their farms in England. Maybe they talked of life, family, work. Maybe they did this regularly, maybe not. But this particular day, Terry asked John if he could practice his metal detecting hobby on the farm. John agreed.
Terry swept the property, deliberately, patiently. Maybe he even lost track of time as he searched. He wasn’t looking for anything particular, but he knew from experience that there’s treasure all around. In some shape or form, he expected to find something good.
And boy, did he ever!
Two-hundred forty bags of ancient Anglo-Saxon gold and silver artifacts worth £3.285 million was under his friend’s farm. It’s known as the Staffordshire Hoard.* The two men split the value of the find evenly.
Their lives will never be the same. Simply because of a decision to search for the treasure on land a farmer owned for years without imagining it’s value.
It’s the same with our relationships.
Sometimes the treasure is right where we’re standing.
We can know a person for years, live with them, work with them. We may be their friend, parent, daughter, or spouse. We can talk every day and never fully know the treasure that’s in them… if we never take the time to look.
The treasure we find may not be what we expect.
These men hoped to find treasure, and kept an open mind about what that would look like. An open mind added to optimism led them to take their find to British authorities who validated the odd items’ worth. In our own relationships, seeking treasure may mean we discover they have a rare or hard to work with quality that takes creativity (or maybe a second opinion) to appreciate fully.
Finding treasure requires effort and tools.
Terry wasn’t going to find anything that night if he’d walked the property as he’d done every other visit with his friend. He needed to decide to look for treasure, and then use tools that made discovery possible. We’ve got lots of tools available to us, if we’re willing, to explore the treasure in those we know and love. Here are a few books I really like:
- Strengths-Based Leadership
- The Five Love Languages
- Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
Are you a relational treasure-hunter? Will you choose to search afresh for the amazing value in those you know and love?
You never know how it will change your life!
*More info on the Staffordshire Hoard here.